Ancient Monuments

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Bowl barrow 600m west of Starved Oak Cross

A Scheduled Monument in Upton Pyne, Devon

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Latitude: 50.7793 / 50°46'45"N

Longitude: -3.552 / 3°33'7"W

OS Eastings: 290678.869226

OS Northings: 98895.280314

OS Grid: SX906988

Mapcode National: GBR P0.L66V

Mapcode Global: FRA 37G1.017

Entry Name: Bowl barrow 600m W of Starved Oak Cross

Scheduled Date: 16 February 1953

Last Amended: 2 October 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010646

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15027

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Upton Pyne

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Upton Pyne Church of our Lady

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


The monument is a bowl barrow surviving as an earthen mound, 35m in diameter
and 1m high, in a ploughed arable field. There is no visible or recorded
evidence that it has ever been excavated. It stands at the S edge of the
field, abutting and slightly truncated by the roadside hedge and verge
crossing its S periphery. This barrow is the westernmost of a line of four
well-spaced barrows sited on a low broad ridge overlooking a shallow valley at
the centre of the area covered by the Upton Pyne barrow group. This group
comprises over thirty recorded barrows dispersed about a low-lying alluvial
basin north of the confluences of the River Exe with the Rivers Culm and
Creedy. Within the overall group, barrows occur both as isolated examples and
forming localised clusters. Grave goods and a radiocarbon date derived from
the few partly-excavated barrows in the group indicate burials during the
early and middle Bronze Age (around 2000 - 1000 BC). All of the upstanding
barrows in this group present the appearance of unditched bowl barrows, the
absence of ditches being supported by air photographic evidence and confirmed
for all examples that have been excavated. The hedge crossing the S side of
the barrow is excluded from the scheduling but the land beneath it, including
the grassed verge, is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments
dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most
examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as
earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple
burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often
acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar,
although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form
and a diversity of burial practices. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl
barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring
across most of lowland Britain. Often occupying prominent locations, they are
a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable
variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important
information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early
prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of

This bowl barrow has survived without any previous disturbance and presents
one of the best-preserved barrow profiles among the Upton Pyne barrow group,
whose unusual low-lying position, good overall preservation, and quality of
dating, constructional and artefactual information have all resulted in its
frequent mention in national reviews of Bronze Age funerary monuments.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Todd, M, The South-West to A.D. 1000, (1987), 148-150
Devon SMR entries for SX 99 NW-119 and -120,
Devon SMR entry for SX 99 NW-021, -026, -027 and -052,
Fox, A., South-West England, (1964)

Source: Historic England

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